Trade shows as test labs.
It’s amazing what you can find out by just walking around. A few months ago, I attended CineGear Expo 2014 held on the legendary Paramount Back Lot in West Hollywood.
It was, to be sure, a thrill to be walking among the massive soundstages and period faux street fronts where such legendary films as King Kong, Superman, The Godfather
and, yes, the iconic Citizen Kane, were all filmed.The Expo is an annual event aimed at the thousands of technicians of all types who work in the motion picture industry.
As such, there were dozens upon dozens of companies in attendance displaying everything from the most obvious (cameras) to the most outlandish (companies renting
out entire airliner interiors, restrooms to flight decks).The current rage by far comes from the plethora of manufacturers building what are described as mini-drone camera
mounts, sophisticated gadgets with four propellers (or six, or eight) about a foot square and under five pounds that are remote controlled and carry tiny, high-resolution video
cameras. For filmmakers the result is a perspective on our world that we haven’t seen before—anywhere from ankle level to thousands of feet aloft. Just looking at all the
displays was educational, and for an ETS employee, it offered the opportunity to do a little company research. My companion Steve Lampen and I had the opportunity to
test first-hand the new ETS CineSnake™ for its plug-in compatibility with a range of camera brands, including Canon, Sony and Panasonic. (See photo). The CineSnake™
is a convenient little black box that plugs into a digital camera’s two XLR audio inputs with a locking click, and on the other side has an RJ45 connecter for microphone inputs
more than 1,000 feet distant. By simply plugging the CineSnake™ into the various cameras on open display, we were able to assure our customers that the CineSnake™ fits
perfectly on the Canon c100 c300 Series, the Sony 5 and 55, and a few of the Panasonic cameras as well. Bottom line, it replaces expensive (and heavy) microphone snakes
with a single thin, light, inexpensive Cat5 cable. And all that research just walking around!
Check the ETS website for further details.